Synopsis: Dez is a famous movie star in mourning for his love Cherie.
We don’t just get sick and die. They’ve got med docs and implants and LongLife™ tech that keeps people alive for 150 years now if you can afford it, and we could afford it. So how could they let her die? How could I lose my perfect girl? How could they do that to me?
The studio director comes to help – they keep biological samples of actors so that they can replicate them in the case of fatal injuries, but Cherie’s isn’t used, and she can pass him a vial if and only if he will return to his duties. She explicitely warns him to only use virtual reality for it, but of course Dez doesn’t listen.
Review: Dez is a broken character, an estranged leader of his tribe in the throes of his mourning and his drugs. His self-destructive yearning is on the border to horror but doesn’t cross it too far.
I found the topic of digital reincarnation quite interesting and it’s quite common to a less extreme degree these days – with Star Wars continuing Princess Leia, or Fast&Furious recreating Paul Walker. These deepfakes are extended in this short story as a background trope, and find their way into a new interpretation.
I see this story with its cautions about obsessive love as still relevant and beautiful. I hope that it intrigues readers enough that they learn more about Native cultures and peoples.
The title is referenced in the story only with a tongue-in-the-cheek approach: The main protagonist is a movie star (astronomy… yeah) and a Native American. But if you take the author’s hope serious and read the Tewa story, you’ll find the real cause for the title.